Trilogue agreement:  PES welcomes an important step ahead for the rights of platform workers

Trilogue agreement:  PES welcomes an important step ahead for the rights of platform workers

S&D Rapporteur in the EMPL trilogue on platform work Elisabetta Gualmini cheering after the European Parliament first adopted the platform workers directive in February this year.

As the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and European Parliament S&D Rapporteur Elisabetta Gualmini reached an agreement on the directive on improving working conditions in platform work, PES welcomes an important step for the better protection of platform workers and calls on the Council and Parliament to swiftly adopt the directive.

As of today, there are over 28 million platform workers in the EU, i.e. workers that work or provide services for a customer via an online platform, and the numbers are growing. Platform work expands to a variety of activities such as translation, data input, babysitting, and elderly care but is best known for local delivery and ride-hailing services. These sectors have met with widespread concerns about the quality of the work offered and the employment terms for workers involved in platform work as many of them are considered self-employed while facing tight control from the platforms.

Since Commissioner Nicolas Schmit put forward his proposal for a directive on improving working conditions in platform work in December 2021, PES has strongly supported the adoption of an ambitious legislation that clarifies the status of platform workers and protects them against the risks of algorithmic management and automated decisions.

PES President Stefan Löfven welcomed the agreement found in trilogue yesterday:

“It is hard enough to ride a bike in the rain trying to follow the schedule and orders you receive on your phone to deliver meals across the city. Platform workers should not have to go to lengthy trials against multinationals to be able to claim access to social protection, or to contest an automated closure of their accounts. That is why we need this piece of legislation.

And despite the heavy lobbying from the platforms, thanks to S&D and the Spanish Presidency, the Directive found its way through the institutions.

I would like to thank to the S&D Rapporteur Elisabetta Gualmini, to the PES SEN network chair Agnes Jongerius, MEP, and especially to commissioner Niclolas Schmit for their efforts.

The agreement reached yesterday on this file is key and paves the way for a directive that effectively improves the working conditions of platform workers. With the presumption of employment, they will know they are employees unless they enjoy full entrepreneurial freedom. With the rules on algorithmic management, they will have a right to speak to a human being to contest a decision instead of seeing their account automatically disconnected at the will of the platform.

The directive is ready, Council and Parliament must proceed with the final steps for its swift adoption.”